When the world’s best alpine women skiers come to Zauchensee on the 11th and 12th of January 2020, we’ll be celebrating an anniversary – 40 years of World Cup races in Zauchensee. The FIS commission and the host broadcaster ORF were here recently to check the slope, the race route and positioning of towers, barriers and the like. As of now tickets are also available.
An anniversary is always a good time for reminiscing. So, we’ve talked to someone who’s in the know – Lift Company Director, Veronika Scheffer. She takes a look back at the various World Cup races, which have taken place Zauchensee since 1980.
Ladies World Cup in Zauchensee 2020 – Ski stars in Zauchensee
Over the past 40 years the winners’ podium has seen a wealth of ski stars come and go, whereby the US American, Lindsey Vonn, won the most gold medals in Zauchensee, four in total. She’s followed by the Austrian, Renate Götschl and Vreni Schneider from Switzerland, each clocking up 3 wins. Superstar Marcel Hirscher, who only recently took his leave of the World Cup ski circus has also stood on the winners’ podium here. “In 2007 we hosted the FIS Junior World Championships together with Flachau. The winners back them are the superstars of today – Nicole Schmidhofer and Tina Weirather plus Beat Feuz and Marcel Hirscher too. Unbelievable how quickly time flies!“
One of the most demanding downhill runs in the World Cup series
Not just the names of the ski stars have changed over the years, the run itself has changed constantly. In the 1980’s the race was held on the FIS Gamskogel-Ost. Since 1990 races have been held on today’s World Cup run from the Gamskogel through the Kälberloch down to the World Cup arena. And even this run has been constantly developed, as Veronika knows: “In 2002 the World Cup final was held in Zauchensee and Flachau, that’s why men raced here in Zauchensee for the first time. For this particular race the run was extended and the start was set higher up on the Gamskogel. Thus making the run longer and quicker. Since 2007 the women have also started the downhill race from the top.“
Our Lift Company Director pays tribute to the athletes: “The racers whizz down the extremely steep start slope at a speed of zero to 100 km/h in just five seconds – a speed normally only achieved by racing cars. The whole run is composed of wide, energy-sapping jumps, technically demanding turns and strong compressions. The downhill is therefore one of the most difficult in Women’s World Cup!“
What’s in store during the anniversary year of 2020
The 40th World Cup year starts off with the downhill trainings on Thursday, 9th of January, the downhill race itself takes place on Saturday, 11th January. The alpine combination on Sunday, 12th January rounds off the World Cup weekend in Zauchensee. Between the races on Friday and Saturday evening there’s a side programme of events in the Market Square in Altenmarkt, such as the public bib draw.
photo credits: Zauchensee Liftgesellschaft